Theme Term Abbreviation Link Definition
Region San Joaquin Valley The southern extent of the central valley of California, broadly defined as the lower drainage of the San Joaquin River and the Tulare Basin immediately to its south.
Region San Joaquin Valley Counties the eight counties in California that contain part of the San Joaquin Valley. Significant portions of some counties may lie outside of the valley itself. From North to South they are San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County, Merced County, Madera County, Fresno County, Tulare County, Kings County, and Kern County
Issue Sustainability Sustainability is the concept of keeping things in balance to achienve long-term presistence. In a regional context this includes preserving ecosystem processes such as ground water recharge and maintaining (or restoring) habitat connectivity for animals and plants to be able to move on the landscape. It can also refer to maintaining environmental quality for human residents, and the use of resources and production of agricultural goods at a rate that can be sustained over the long term.
Issue Climate Change Climate Change refers to fluxuations and trends in climate, particularly temperature and precipitation. A perponderence of evidence indicates that at global and regional scales, the earth's climate is changing at a much faster rate than it has in the past. The great majority of scientists agree this is due to human activities, which are releasing atmospheric greenhouse gases in amounts that are affecting the earth's atmosphere. In the near term, climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. The most definitive source of additional information is the International Pannel on Climate Change (IPCC;, which is a group of over 800 scientists who review trends on 5-6 year cycle and produce updated reports about what changes have been observed and are expected.
Issue Climate Change Adaptation Climate Change Adaptation refers the planning and implementation of activities that could allow humans and ecosystems to adapt to changing climatic conditions.



Economic Viability of Agriculture
Issue Environmental Justice Environmental Justice identifies inequities between peoples' or neighborhood's income and education levels; and their level of exposure to pollutants, access to education, services and ammenties. It is widely seen as a problem, particularly in poor sections of the San Joaquin Valley.
Issue Social Equity
Issue Habitat Protection Natural habitats provide the necessary resources for native species to survive. The loss of habitat is one of the most serious impacts to the sustainability of a species. Some habitats are legally protected because species that use them are already at risk of extinction. Identification of habitats that need further protection is one of the goals of the Greenprint project.
Issue Habitat Connectivity Large extents of habitat that remain intact are highly valuable to the species the inhabit those locations. However, these areas need to remain connected to other patches of habitat to permit individuals to move from one patch to another, which enhances genetic diversity and persistence of populations in patches. Habitat corridors, or areas of natural vegetation that connect patches promote this connectivity.
Issue Riparian Corridors Rivers and streams frequently have unique plant and animal species associated with them. The plants often are densly grouped in the immediate vicinity of these streams, forming a riparian corridor.
Issue Vernal Pools Vernal pools are ephemeral landscape features formed by impervious surfaces that collect rain water and runoff. These pools are highly local features which contain an impressive array of endemic species (species found nowhere else). These species are often different at pools in different areas. Vernal pools are often found in groups called complexes.
Issue Mitigation Mitigation are actions that are required by law to offset the biological and ecological impacts of human activities. Particularly when an endangered species is impacted (or expected to be impacted), mitigation will be required. Mitigation credits can sometimes be purchased at reserves that have been set up as mitigation banks.
Issue Water Availability Typically, water availability refers to water available in the soil for plant use from precipitation. In some planning contexts water budgets that include delivery from canals and other infrastructure may be included.
Local Government City A large and permanent population center that has been incorporated and is self-governed
Local Government County A geographic and administrative subdivision of the state with independent governance.
Regional Government Council of Governments COG A regional government body established to address regional policy needs. In California, COGs are also frequently MPOs.
Project San Joaquin Valley Blueprint A collaborative effort among all 8 Councils of Governments (COG) in the San Joaquin Valley to take a long range view at the urban future of the San Joaquin Valley.
Project San Joaquin Valley Greenprint An eight-county technical and stakeholder initiative to document how natural resources support the region’s economy, health, and quality of life, and to identify strategies to guide stewardship of land, water and living resources
Regional Government Metropolitan Planning Organization MPO A federally mandated regional transportation policy setting body. MPOs channel Federal transportation funds to local projects.
Regional Government Regional Transportation Planning Agency RTPA A transportation planning organization responsible for the preparation of a Regional Transportation Plan. RTPAs are frequently, but not always MPOs.
Regional Government Council of Fresno County Governments FresnoCOG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Fresno County
Regional Government Kern Council of Governments Kern COG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Kern County
Regional Government Kings County Association of Governments KCAG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Kings County
Regional Government Madera County Transportation Commission MCTC The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Madera County
Regional Government Merced County Association of Governments MCAG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Merced County
Regional Government San Joaquin County Council of Governments SJCOG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for San Joaquin County
Regional Government Stanislaus Council of Governments StanCOG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Stanislaus County
Regional Government Tulare County Association of Governments TCAG The MPO and Council of Governments responsible for Tulare County
Regional Government Sacramento Area Council of Governments SACOG The Sacramento area's MPO and Council of Governments
Regional Government Air Quality Management Districts or Air Pollution Control District AQMD The local air district has the responsibility for establishing rules and regulation for stationary air pollution source management.
State Government California Air Resources Board CARB The California Air Resources Board's mission is o promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state.
State Government California Department of Conservation DOC The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state's natural resources.
State Government California Department of Fish & Game DFG The Mission of the Department of Fish and Game is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public.
State Government California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection CalFire CalFire is dedicated to the fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California's privately-owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State's 58 counties via contracts with local governments.
State Government California Department of Transportation Caltrans Caltrans manages more than 50,000 miles of California's highway and freeway lanes, provides inter-city rail services, permits more than 400 public-use airports and special-use hospital heliports, and works with local agencies. Caltrans carries out its mission of improving mobility across California with six primary programs: Aeronautics, Highway Transportation, Mass Transportation, Transportation Planning, Administration and the Equipment Service Center.
State Government California Environmental Protection Agency Cal/EPA The California Environmental Protection Agency is charged with developing, implementing and enforcing the state's environmental protection laws that ensure clean air, clean water, clean soil, safe pesticides and waste recycling and reduction. Its departments are at the forefront of environmental science, using cutting-edge research to shape the state's environmental laws.
State Government California Resources Agency The mission of the California Resources Agency is to restore, protect and manage the state's natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved.
State Government Department of Water Resources DWR The California Department of Water Resources's mission is to manage the water resources of California in cooperation with other agencies, to benefit the State's people, and to protect, restore, and enhance the natural and human environments.
State Government Governors Office of Planning and Research OPR The Office of Planning and Research (OPR), created by statute in 1970, is part of the Office of the Governor. OPR serves the Governor and his Cabinet as staff for long-range planning and research, and constitutes the comprehensive state planning agency.
University Organization California Water Institute CWI The California Water Institute (CWI) was created to provide education, research and analysis of policy issues involving water resources including water quality issues and integrated regional water management planning.
University Organization Information Center for the Environment ICE ICE is an environmental information brokerage and research laboratory in the Department of Environmental Science & Policy at the University of California, Davis.
University Organization Urban Land Use and Transportation Center ULTRANS ULTRANS aims to support the design and implementation of new land use and vehicle demand policies through research, education, and public outreach.
Non-Governmental Organization Coalition for Clean Air CCA works to restore California’s air quality through advocacy, education and outreach.
Non-Governmental Organization Conservation Biology Institute CBI The Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) provides scientific expertise to support the conservation and recovery of biological diversity in its natural state through applied research, education, planning, and community service.
Non-Governmental Organization The Nature Conservancy TNC The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
Non-Governmental Organization American Farmland Trust AFT American Farmland Trust is committed to protecting the nation's farm and ranch land, keeping it healthy and improving the economic viability of agriculture.
Non-Governmental Organization Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners The Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners (TBWP) work to provide opportunities for conservation, water management and wildlife as land use continues to change in the Tulare Basin.
Law California Endangered Species Act CESA The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) states that all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The Department will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats.
Law California Environmental Quality Act CEQA CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
Law Clean Air Act The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer.
Law Clean Water Act CWA The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.
Law Endangered Species Act ESA The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The FWS has primary responsibility for terrestrial and freshwater organisms, while the responsibilities of NMFS are mainly marine wildlife such as whales and anadromons fish such as salmon.
Law Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 AB 32 The landmark global warming legislation passed by California to address California's impacts on climate change. Requires a reduction by 2020 to 1990 levels of GHG emissions
Law SB 391 SB 391 Requires the California Department of Transportation to produce a California Transportation Plan every 5 years.
Law SB 732 SB 732 Established the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) as body to coordinate the activities of the Office of Planning and Research, Natural Resources, Business, Transportation & Housing (BTH), Cal/EPA, and the California Health and Human Services Agencies.
Law Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 SB 375 Enhances California's ability to achieve AB 32 goals by promoting good planning with the goal of more sustainable communities. SB 375 Requires the preparation of a Sustainable Community Strategy as a required component of each MPO's RTP. These must achieve set GHG reduction targets for 2020 and 2035.
Plan General Plan A General Plan is the local government’s long-term blueprint for development.
Plan General Plan Elements Subject categories within a General Plan. There are seven required elements: land use, circulation, housing, conservation, open space, noise, and safety.
Plan Habitat Conservation Plan HCP HCPs are planning documents required as part of an application for an incidental take permit. They describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking; how those impacts will be minimized, or mitigated; and how the HCP is to be funded. HCPs can apply to both listed and nonlisted species, including those that are candidates or have been proposed for listing. Conserving species before they are in danger of extinction or are likely to become so can also provide early benefits and prevent the need for listing.
Plan Integrated Regional Water Management Plan IRWMP Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) is a collaborative effort to manage all aspects of water resources in a region. IRWM crosses jurisdictional, watershed, and political boundaries; involves multiple agencies, stakeholders, individuals, and groups; and attempts to address the issues and differing perspectives of all the entities involved through mutually beneficial solutions. This effort results in an Integrated
Plan Natural Communities Conservation Plan NCCP The Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) program of the Department of Fish and Game is an effort by the State of California, and numerous private and public partners, that takes a broad-based ecosystem approach to planning for the protection and perpetuation of biological diversity. An NCCP identifies and provides for the regional or areawide protection of plants, animals, and their habitats, while allowing compatible and appropriate economic activity.
Plan Regional Transportation Plan RTP A long-term plan for a region's transportation system. Normally revised every five years with an intended reach of 30 years. The plan identifies and analyzes regional transportation needs and prioritizes projects.
Plan Specific Plan A specific plan is a tool for the systematic implementation of the general plan. It effectively establishes a link between implementing policies of the general plan and the individual development proposals in a defined area.
Plan Sustainable Community Strategy SCS A required element of a regional transportation plan (RTP) added by SB 375 that requires an integrated vision of land use and transportation that achieves GHG reductions goals.
Plan Zoning A zoning ordinance is the local law that spells out the immediate, allowable uses for each piece of property within the community.
Project Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program FMMP The Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP) produces maps and statistical data used for analyzing impacts on California’s agricultural resources.
Project Regional Advance Mitigation Program RAMP Advance planning for regional mitigation needs based on planned and programmed infrastructure improvements.
Project Rural Urban Connections Strategy RUCS The Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) is a look at the region's growth and sustainability objectives from a rural perspective. This approach has been developed and used by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments
Report Environmental Impact Report EIR Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), following an initial review of likely environmental effects stemming from a project, if the effects are found to be significant a review must be conducted that identifies the impacts and mitigation measures to be taken to reduce their significance.
Tool CommunityVIZ A desktop based land use scenario planning tool. Produced by Placeways.
Tool EnvisionTomorrow A desktop land use scenario planning tool allowing users to paint scenarios over a base land use. Becoming open source.
Tool iPlace3s A server/web based land use scenario planning and analysis tool.
Tool RapidFire A spreadsheet based tool for rapid impact assessment of land use scenarios.
Tool UPlan A simple raster based model for predicting urban growth
Tool UrbanFootprint A server/web based land use scenario planning and analysis tool. Becoming open source.